up. more gunfire on the streets of tripoli where the lebanese army is battling gunmen connected to syria's war younon again. ♪ you are watching al jazeera live from our headquarters in doha. also coming up, the country that inspires the arab spring heads to the polls for the first parliamentary election since the revolution four years ago. after 13 years and hundreds of lives lost, the u.k. ends combat operations in afghanistan. and more than 20 european banks fail to make the grade. so what's gone wrong?
we begin in lebanon where there has been another day of fierce fighting in the northern town of tripoli. the fighting started on friday and so far, at least 10 soldiers and six civilians have been killed in the violence which is related to the conflict in syria. stefanie dekker is in tripoli not far from where the battles are being fought. >> there remains an incredibly tension stand-off between the army and fighters holed up in an area that is a sunni neighborhood. the road where we are, you can hear it there. this has been ongoing throughout the day. sometimes more intention. thinks being used like artillery, rpgs, small arms fire. it certainly does sound incredibly intention from what we have been hearing throughout the day. now, when you talk to people here, many people who have been here waiting have relatives inside. they are calling for a ceasefire. they say give us time to get our
women and children out of there. the civilians who are not fighting. so we can at least bring them to safety. at the moment, that hasn't happened. politicians and religious liters are meeting here in tripoli trying to find a solution. the message we heard from them was that they weren't happy with the army besieging, as they called it, this neighborhood because of the civilian presence, they say that they stand behind the army trying to root out what they call terrorist elements or sleeper cells that may have to do with the spillover from syria but an incredibly intention situation remaining here people concerned, people angry and it's heightening the sectarian tensions here lebanon incredibly sectarian, divided between those who support the syrian revolution and those who support president bashar al assad. >> inside syria, 16 people believed to have been from the same family have been killed in an airstrike. activists say the syrian government has carried out more than 530 aerial attacks in two
days. central homs prove incident is taking the brunt ex asker biting the fligplight for those forced flee. some of our viewers may find the images in this report disturbing. >> reporter: another child caught up in the continuing war in syria. this is a temporary hospital in the neighborhood of homs. activists say president assad's forces have killed dozens of peop people. we can't independently verify these memos but women and children are believed to be among the victims of the indisriminate campaign. >> in addition to artillery, fighter jets have been relentless. more than 500 aerial attacks across the country in just two days. there are reports of more attacks on rebel-held areas. in damascus, the outskirts, the countryside of aleppo and homs. the syrian regime says it is
only targeting what it calls terrorists. after each hit, those still alive look for survivors under the rubble. this is where the search for the missing continues into the night. rebels say they retaliated by firing rockets at government-controlled homs city and each destroyed home, there is more despair. this family is burning parts of a mattress to make bread. they choose to take the odds among the ruins of their home. the situation isn't much better for those who decide to take refuge. the suffering in this camp for displaced syrians is far from over. >> translator: we were forced to leave our homes. we came here seeking shelter. there is no food or water, nothing but further humiliation. >> where is the national coalition or the national council? what are they doing for displaced families and children who's homes are destroyed? nearly 11 million people inside
syria need help as the three-year war drags on into another winter. this camp is named amil or hope. among other things, that, too, seems to be running out. osamabase benjabi, al jazeera. >> the air force launched new airstrikes hitting several targets in the past few hours. in syria, five airstrikes near koban testament destroyed buildings and vehicles okay beside by the group. southwest of the mosul dram, two isil vehicles and two buildings and three airstrikes were carried out southeast of soluja. bernard smith has more from orfa on the border? >> all that separates turk frey syria here is just a little bit of barbed wire and most of it pushed down. just on the other side of that, syrian kurds. if they wanted to, they would be allowed to cross but they don't want to leave behind their cattle or their vehicles. and they are not allowed to bring those over.
so most of them have elected to stay there. they have been there now for weeks on end. really, since isil started to encircle and push on kobane. in the distance over there is kobane. this entrance to the area is one of two that could potentially be used by the iraqi peshmerga when and if they come to kobane. you can see how close we are. just hearing the gunfire and the artillery in the distance. the other border crossing right in the center of kobane is where isil forces have been shelling with mortars because they want to stop. they want to take control of that border crossing to present the passing of the peshmerga so they can control access to kobane there. this is why this border might be the .1 that is used in stead because here, the turkitch military are in control on this side. just on the other side, that, for the time being, remains in
control of syrian kurdish fighte fighters. iraq's counter part is visiting about how to stop the advance of is isil. the recaptured town about 60 kilometers south of baghdad. the town has been the site of intention fighting between government-backed forces and isil. now, to parliamentae e leingsz in tunisia, the country that sparked revolution across the middle east and north africa. the leaders of the two largest parties have voted. >> is anushi right there and he is up against the tunnes party led by dysi psi. tunisia is about to complete a vital step. this is the second vote since the uprising that overthrew the then president. the anada party fired by
politicalislam took 40% of the vote in elections that took place that followed in 2011. and that made way for elections under a nigh constitution. this year which allows parliament every oversight as well as independent monitoring. the parties are competing on two key issues, a shaky security situation in the country and, also, there is an economy with an unemployment at around 15%. hashima has covered. is that a polling station in tunnis. the polling stations have now officially closed, hasham. >> indeed, it's eight minutes past 6:00 p.m. local time and voting is over in tunisia at one of the biggest polling stations here in the capitol, and as you can see behind me, counting officers and scrutinies representing candidates are about to start counting ballots.
it's going to take them some time. now, the voting has been described in general as regular, things went pretty smooth according to international observers despite some irregularities, mine or irregularities in different points. until about an hour ago, it was at 51%. according to officials, thes quite significant. it's almost the same voter turnout of 2011 despite all of the concerns, the fear about the country, the instability and the violence that has been on the rise over the last few years. >> hashem, you have been in tunisia. you were covering the tension stand-off that was going on with the militants there and the security forces. so really, is security a concern for tun easeians? did that affect the way they voted at all? what did they tell you?
>> sur veins and opinion poll did thought we might see voter appear either. we might end up with something like 55% of voter turnout which is quite significant. however, having said that, people are saying if this is over now, the voting is over, now we have to wait and see who wins the elections, although many think that this is definitely going to be a national unity government because no one is said to win a landsli landslide. they have a priority. they want a strong government that is capable of tackling the rise of armed groups across country and put an end to unemployment here in tunisia. >> hashem, thank you, reporting for us from tunnisis. votingn in ukraine.
pet two poroshenko is expected to win the largest share of the vote. but there is a strong chance he will have to form a coalition. barnaby phillips reports from kiev. >> on the very street whenever dozens of people were shot dead in february's uprising, today, they came to vote. the young and the old. everyone knows this is a crucial time in ukraine's history. but they disagree on many other things. >> we hope many things will improve soon, that we have peace and that the economy will get better. these elections are very important to me. >> what do you see as the importance or the significance of these elections? >> nothing. because nothing will change the signatures in ukraine. the corruption is too big. and i can't tell you that this people who now are going to be in the power of ukraine,
practically, they say they are different but they are the same. their mentality is the same as it was. >> president poroshenko traveled to krematorsk in the east captured by separatists earlier this year but was retain by the government. so his visit here was a statement. he wanted to say that this town belongs to ukraine and that better times are ahead. >> people are very intent in wanting to vote and voting for the new country, for the reform, for the anti-corruption, for building up new states and for the peace. all of these people are waiting for the peace. we are together with them. >> much may depend on these men in the weeks and months ahead. soldiers were given time to vote in krematorsk. the cease-fire is shaky. many ukraineians field the conflict is bound to resume. >> there is a lot of talk here in kiev of a new political
beginning the the ukrainians also know that the success of their country's transition is to some extent out of their own hands. it depends upon how much support they receive from countries in the west and it depends upon decisions taken by sladmi punishment and the russians to the east. >> in engineer against square life goes on. the vintage car rally is being held where people fought and died to overthrow president yanukovych just a few months ago. families enjoying the winter sunshine, hoping all of the sacrifices of the past year have not been any vain. barnaby phillips, al jazeera, kiev. >> still to come on al jazeera, voting in brazil's tightly contested presidential run-off gets underway and america's ambassador to the u.n. travels to help mobilize support for the fight against ebola.
>> america votes 2014 >> the race is still a dead heat >> filmmaker aj schack turns his camera towards elections in the swing states >> it shows you who these people are... in ways that you don't get to see from the short appearances >> unconventional... >> if i can drink this... i don't see why you should be able to smoke that... >> unscripted... >> we gonna do this?
>> ...and uncensored... >> are you kidding me? >> america votes 2014 midterms the series continues only on al jazeera america >> the past stories on al jazeera gunfire and explosions have been ringing out from the leb .19 knees city of tripoli. 16 people died, have died in two days sparked by the arrest of an alleged isil recruiter. in syria, u.s. forces have conducted more airstrikes against isil targets, outside of the town of kobane. tunisia angles have voted turnout is estimated at 51%.
british forces in u.s. marines have ended their combat missions in afghanistan. they handed over their basis in helmet province to afghan forces marking the end of nato's operation in the prove incident. general frer glass reports from southern afghanistan. the lowering of flags marks the ends of a 13-year combat mission in afghanistan british forces and u.s. marines handed over their last basis in healthment province to after gans. operation enduring freedom effectively began in october, 2001. there were once more 30,000 foreign soldiers on these basis alone. nato's combat mission is over at the end of the year and most of the troops are going home. the british defense secretary says they have achieved their mission. >> there is a better chance of a more stable future in afghanistan because we have a government there of national unity and an army that is supported by the local population that represents all
parts of afghanistan. >> afghan sforsz suffered losses in battles with the taliban. over the yearsforces suffered ls in battles with the taliban. over the years have been killed or injured. the head of the british forces admits the security situation remains difficult. and that's one of the reasons why some 12,000 nato forces will remain in afghanistan until 2016 to support the afghan forces. but their role will be vastly different than in the past. they will train, advise and assist the 350,000 after began security forces. for britain and the u.s. marines. the handover means their war in afghanistan is over jennifer glass, al jazeera, kandahar. >> an egyptian court has sentenced 23 activists to three years in prison under a controversial anti-protest law. amnesty international has described her as a quote prisoner of conscience.
al jazeera continues to demand the immediate release of three journalists who have been detained in egypt for 302 days. they were convicted of helping the outlawed muslim brotherhood. theyjected charges and are appealing goods their convictions. two decades have now passed since jordan signed a piece treaty with israel. the packet remains unpopular among many in jordan but both improvements seem determined to protect their strategic partnership. >> reporter: whether jordan and israel signed a piece treater 40 years ago, they put behind them 46 years of war and mistrust. since then, the two neighboring countries have had an unease relationship king abdulal once described his relationship with benjamin netanyahu as cold and unpleasant. this is how he feels now.
>> today, we have both islamic extremism and zinistic extremism. as jordan is fighting extremism within islam and israelis are slaughtering children in gas every 5 minutes, we have a -- in gaza every 5 minutes, we have a problem. >> it has angered the kingdom which hosts over 2 million refugees. jordan has a stake in the outcome of the conflict not only because it has the largest palestinian refugee population in the world but, also, because of the strong attachment to jer ice let me. israel recognized jordan's special role in looking after islamic sidelines in jerusalem and has agreed to give it high priority prior to when they negotiate the future of the city. by allowing right-wing jewish groups to enter the compound, jordan feels israel is undermining its role in protecting the holy site.
>> we continue to telex really officials that it must be stopped immediately he is still living in a refugee camp. he said the treat y was more beneficiary to is real? >> he assured there will be no wars and no one will askitionis why it's stealing palestinian land. >> analysts think there is too much too lose. i am convinced they will never severe with israel because it is not in jordan's interest. yes, security coordination is important, but it's as important for israel than it is for jordan. let's not forget the borders. >> the treaty defined permit
borders withis and returned the area of albaqura for jordan but for many here, it feels like a tries, not piece. al jazeera, al backra refugees camp. >> brazilians are picking their next president, dilma rousseff is seeking a second four-year term. she is facing a challenge from a former government as well as a state governor. gabriel has more from bella horizonte. >> i am at a school that is a polling case. we have seen a steady stream of people all day coming to cast their ballots. brazil is a big democracy, the fourth biggest world only behind the united states, india and indonesia. to give you an idea, there are over 95,000 polling stations just like this all over the country and over 530,000 electronic voting machines spread out throughout the entire country as well this is a big
democracy. a lot is at stake in this election. this is the first election or the only in history in brazil there is no obvious candidate that has an advantage going in to the voting day. this has been the tightest election in the last 20 years. there has been a lot going on that the opposition candidate closed his campaign in a small city very near here in his home state where he was encouraging his voters to come out in force. on the other hand, dilma rousseff, the incumbent president was the first of the two candidates to cast her ballot early sunday morning when the polls opened in homs city and far south of brazil. she also had a strong end of her campaign as well. there are a lot of polls in the final days. basically they said this election is too close to call, but those polls don't matter anymore. the only thing that matters now is the brazilian people. they are the ones catting their ballots and they are the ones going to have the last say in this election.
>> the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. has criticized the international community over its slow response to the ebola outbreak. samantha power made the remarks before travel to go west africa. >> all of us need to make clear what these health workers mean to us and how much we value their service, how much we value their contribution. we need to encourage more. we need many more than are going right now and we need to find a way when they come home that they are treated like conquering heroes and not stigmatized for the work they have done. >> tom ackerman from washington, d.c. with more. >> reporter: power was setting out on a trip to three african countries, the hardest hit ones in what she called an staement to heighten the consciousness about the need for a lot more doctors, beds, and money from the international community to those countries. she said she will be returning to brussels where she will make that case. at the same time, power has been very critical of not only the
international community but even some authorities in the united states at the way that some of these medical professionals returning from africa have been subjected to mandatory quarantines, three states now requiring that even though people who have no symptoms and, therefore, are not considered to be contagion have been told to stay at home or in isolation. >> is something that some of the officials here say is not only draconian but is actually counterproductive because it will dissway many of these from going abaud on these kinds of missions. >> the worst affected country is liberia according to the world health organization, nearly 3,000 people have died there. in receipt weeks, ginny has seen a spike in the number of cases. the death toll now stands at more than 1500 sierra leone is struggling to contain the virus. more than 1200 people there have
died tied n total, almost 5,000 people have lost their lives to ebola. 25 european banks have failed stress tests designed to check their financial health. the banks now have nine months to improve their finances or risk being shut down. the greatest concern was italy with nine failures. there were three each from greece and cypess. phillip says the european central blank has glossed over the data. >> find that european banks only have am capital shortfall at the end of last year and 9.5 billion as of now. i think that is ludicrously low. certainly much lower than many market analysts think, lower than intend academic analysis conclude and it jars with the experience of bank behavior and
people seeking loans for banks which are way down by impaired assets and want to extend more credit. it's hard to judge how invest orders are going to react. i don't think it draws a line under the crisis as one might have hoped that it would because the ec become has gone soft on your euro zone banks. investors and markets cannot be reassured that the problems are in hand it's been a year since the indian city of calcutta introduced a bicycle ban to improve traffic. for many people, cycling is the only arrestedable way they can get around. we met some of those who say their livelihoods are now suffering. >> cal cuta's roads are brimming with all sorts of vehicles, just like any indian city. with one difference: there are no bicycles on the main road. the past year, a bicycle ban has
pushed cyclists on to these back roads. it's especially hard for those who use a cycle to make a living. bashan says the ban means traveling longer and working less. he estimates his income has gone down from $200 a month before the ban to just $80. t the ban has affected my family heavily. if the ban goes on for a longer time, i don't think i can make ends meet. >> business is bad for those who repair bicycles since many cyclists have switched in the past year to other forms of transport. >> before the ban, i used to have at least 20, 30 cycles in this garage for repair every day. now, there are not even 5 here imagine what will happen if it goes on for another year. calcat cuta police declined or request for an interview. in past media statements, police have said general safety and traffic con just's were the main
reasons behind the ban. there is no plan to lift it. >> with traffic increasing every year, calcutta police say since since banning bicycles, traffic flows faster. critics say besides affecting those who is livelihood depends upon traveling by bicycles, spanning this form of transportation puts down one of the greenest forms for getting around. the state's pollution control board says 50% 50% of calcuta's air pollution comes from cars. this environmentalist said banning bicycles will make that worse. >> if we allow more and more vehicles to cop could cal cuta's streets, it would only mean the air pollution in calcuta is only going to rise. [we don't look at more sustainable methods of transportation, it's going to become a problem. >> those trying to fight the ban and those who use their bicycle did for work, they want to start
moving again with the rest of the city. calcuta. keep up-to-date with all of the news on our website, aljazeera.com. there, you will find the top stories, everything we are covering here at al jazeera. aljazeera.com. >> in 2009 peace came to sri lanka after 26 years of civil war. >> government troops had crushed the tamil tigers - a guerrilla force which had waged a brutal insurgency seeking self-rule for the tamils c a minority making up about 12 percent of sri lanka's po